PRISON BLOG 41
ON THE WATERFRONT
So now we know why Fletcher Building underwent such a share price surge before the Government’s unilateral declaration of a totally new stadium for Auckland. They are probably the most trusted player in this bizarre exhibition tournament where the goal posts, as they say, have been shifted mid-game.
Trevor Mallard is not exactly the most competent or astute visionary in this play, nor is Dr. Cullen known for his regard of Auckland’s interest, nor is Warren & Mahoney valued for sympathetic or inspiring architecture, nor does the Auckland City Council have a reputation for unanimity of purpose and, finally and perhaps most disturbingly, our central government – as the coach and captain of this nightmare team – is the last entity anyone would describe as being timely or fiscally disciplined on matters of infrastructure projects. The stadium has the hallmarks of all the success of the government’s other brain-wave of merging all the Auckland councils together – without bothering to tell anyone beforehand.
Reflecting on our nation’s humiliation at losing the 2007 rugby world cup because of our ‘she’ll-be-right’ incompetence and total lack of preparation we now risk the same fate befalling us in 2011 because of the same reasons.
And to foist infrastructure on Auckland that will damage the existing assets’ viability, require a new special tax, require ratepayer subsidies and also be another huge structure that blocks the water views…it’s difficult to find anything in favour of it. Even Carlaw Park would be a more rational decision than on the waterfront. It could have been a contender….
…but why wasn’t Eden Park automatic? Incompetence once again. The design the Board came up with was something straight out of the Warren & Mahoney song book, but without even the total comprehensive Stalinist brutalism that would at least have given it some symmetry. Why the new ASB stand was not built with a view to a future integrated whole is a case study (as if we needed another one) of the ad hoc ineptitude and failure of vision that besets this country. Sadly, it occurs at elite level exclusively so it seems, because most regular punters are quite able to see the logical, big-picture necessities of planning large scale projects. In receipt of millions in sweet-heart loans from the Auckland City Council, Eden Park faces oblivion – and they only really have themselves to blame. I just hope Aucklanders won’t be conned over the Waterfront options as they have been over toll roads.
DON’T FORGET Tim’s Book and magazine collection for the Prison Library, please send your books and magazines to:
Hawkes Bay Prison
Private Bag 1600
Tim Selwyn (Editor of Tumeke!)
Hawkes Bay Prison
Currently appealing sedition conviction